Photo Credit: Isabella Cucchi
Last week, resolutions were all the buzz. But today, a week into the new year? Internet crickets. When the calendar changed from 2011 to 2012, many of us told ourselves that this new year would be different from the last. Time to finally start and stick to that diet; time to forget that guy who broke our heart six months ago; and time to get a 4.0 GPA in our classes. While there is nothing wrong with setting the bar high when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, the unfortunate reality is that many of us will fall off track by as early as February. In order to be successful, it is best to create sustainable. realistic goals. Rather than resolving to swear off carbs, instead resolve to eat fewer grains in favor of more fruits and vegetables. If exercising more is on your list, then consider joining a gym. If having smaller jeans is not enough of an incentive, think about the non-refundable gym membership fees creating a whole in your wallet. When setting your goals for 2012, think about the big picture and what drives your efforts. Even when you think you might fail, don’t get discouraged; staying positive and committed are keys to success.
** 8 Realistic Resolutions for 2012**
1. Eat healthfully and mindfully. In Michael Pollan’s most recent book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, the author outlines a simple, easy-to follow framework for healthy eating. According to Pollan, there is no need for complicated, depriving diets. Instead, those interested in becoming healthy should avoid processed, refined items and choose food prepared with fresh, identifiable ingredients. Buying local meat and produce not only ensures better quality and healthfulness, but it is also economically and environmentally-friendly. Take the time to think about your hunger and what you put into your stomach. Simply put by Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
2. Eat breakfast every day. For those who resolve to lose weight in 2012, eating breakfast could be the key to getting rid of those unwanted pounds. According to various studies over the years, eating a breakfast rich in fiber and protein can help discourage overeating later in the day and provide the nutrients necessary for a healthy diet. Even if you don’t have time to whip up some scrambled eggs or oatmeal with mixed nut granola, a fiber-rich nutrition bar or bowl of cereal are good options. Additionally, eating breakfast will give you a mental boost to start the day. Just know, however, that a cup of coffee does not count as breakfast.
3. Be more wallet conscious. Did you ever stop to consider how much money you spend on coffee, take-out foods and other random items? Consider this: if you buy a $4.50 latte five times a week, then that is $22.50 less in your wallet. In 2012, resolve to cut down on unnecessary expenses when possible. Whip up your favorite coffee drinks yourself and reject the take-out menu in favor of preparing meals at home. Put aside the money you save for paying student loans and/or treating yourself to something special.
4. Have more “me” time. Between classes, extracurriculars and our social lives, putting aside time for ourselves can seem impossible. At the beginning of each week, take a look at your schedule and make a point to allot time for yourself. Whether this means an hour shopping at the mall or 20 minutes of meditation, revel in your independence and take control of your own happiness.
5. Make sleep a priority. It is 2 a.m. and you are only halfway done with your 20-page paper on the debt crisis in Greece. You promised you wouldn’t stay up all night, but yet again your commitments push sleep to the back burner. This coming year, commit yourself to planning out your schedule to avoid those grueling all-nighters. Sleep deprivation can leave you with less energy and less consciousness, which can also lead to mindless eating and impaired judgment. Aim to get at least six hours of sleep at night so that you will be well-rested and ready to tackle your to-do list.
6. Think before clicking “send.” All of us have had at least one of those panicked moments when we realize that we just sent an error-splattered email or an embarrassing text message. Avoid the awkward responses and carefully look over everything you write before hitting “send.” Whether you are texting your ex or asking a question via email to your professor, review the language and tone of your message. Ask yourself these questions: does it adequately describe the message you want to express? Is there a chance it could be misconstrued? Will you regret it? After answering these, you can either hit “send” or backspace the type.
7. Give yourself a break from technology. It is hard to imagine a world without Facebook, smartphones, tablets and e-readers, but there was a time when technology did not dictate our schedules and consume our focus. Harken back to those times by putting aside the Blackberry and stepping away from the computer. Resolve to turn off your phone when doing school work, and avoid reaching for it after every buzz of the ringer. If you have a Mac computer, you can even use SelfControl to keep you from Facebook stalking. While the benefits of technology are undeniable, all goods things are best in moderation.
8. Live in the present. According to the Mayans, the world is going to end this year on December 21st. Whether or not you believe this prediction, the possibility of an impending doomsday reminds us that we should appreciate every day. Rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, resolve to focus on the now and live each day as if it could be the last.
Bethany Imondi, a junior studying Government and English at Georgetown University, has resolved to run a 10k, apply to law school and take more pictures in 2012. Read more…